Background: High incidences of drug consumption and mental health problems are found among the Roma population in Spain, a reality that remains understudied. Past studies have indicated the positive role played by the Iglesia Evangélica Filadelfia (IEF) in promoting rehabilitation and prevention of these practices. Objective: In this article, authors analyze in which ways the IEF favors processes of drug rehabilitation and mental health recovery as well as the prevention of these problems among its Roma members. Methods: A communicative qualitative approach was developed. It was communicative because new knowledge was created by dialogically contrasting the existing state of the art with study participants. It was qualitative because everyday life stories were collected, gathering the experiences, perceptions and interpretations of Roma people who are actively involved in three different IEF churches based in Barcelona. Results: This article identifies these protective factors: anti-drug discourse, a supportive environment, new social relations, role model status, the promotion of interactions, the revaluation of oneself, spiritual activities and the improvement of the feeling of belonging and the creation of meaning. Conclusion: The present research contributes new evidence to the current understanding of the role played by the IEF in improving Roma health status and how the identified protective factors can contribute to rehabilitation and recovery from such problems in other contexts.
Keywords: Pentecostalism; Roma; drugs rehabilitation; mental health; social exclusion.